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Jet.com founder Marc Lore has fleet of trucks ready to deliver Bobby Flay to you

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Jet.com founder Marc Lore has fleet of trucks ready to deliver Bobby Flay to you

The billionaire founder of ecommerce pioneer Jet.com has set his sights on revolutionizing an old industry that he says needs new thinking: food delivery.

Marc Lore wants someone in Dallas or Omaha — or New York or LA — to be able to use his new Wonder app to call up a favorite dish from a big-city restaurant and have it delivered to their door — from one of his trucks kitted out with a chef and an oven.

He’s secured the rights to the menus of top chefs like Bobby Flay and sushi dynamo Daisuke Nakazawa and has plans to open “ghost kitchens” all over the country where his army of trucks will pick up partly-cooked meals that will eventually be finished at the curb or in a driveway.

It works like this: A person using the Wonder app scrolls what’s available in their neighborhood from the list of big-name chefs Lore has signed. The customer picks an item — say Steak Diane — that’s earlier been prepared and partially cooked at a satellite kitchen nearby. Then one of Lore’s kitchen-equipped trucks in the area gets a ping with the order and a chef on board finishes cooking the steak before it’s delivered to the person’s door.

Uber Eats announced that beginning November 22, 2021 they will begin offering cannabis on its marketplace in Canada though not for delivery.
Unlike Uber Eats and other services, which deliver food made-to-order from restaurants and then transport it by bicycle or car, Marc Lore’s Wonder service employs a fleet of trucks kitted out with ovens, which make the food when it’s ordered, curbside.
Yohei Osada/AFLO / SplashNews.co

“It isn’t like we are doing a deal with the restaurants,” Lore said of places like Bobby Flay Steaks. “We are buying the exclusive right to the menu and the name.”

He said Wonder makes a “big payment up front” and then secures exclusive, perpetual rights to cook the food just as it is in the chef’s restaurant. The chefs also get equity in the company, he said.

It’s a few clicks different from ordering from Uber Eats or Seamless because the order is cooked just outside the customer’s door — and it’ll also offer a wider selection than just the neighborhood pizza parlor or Chinese take-out. It’ll allow people in Everytown, USA to have access to their favorite big-city food.

He said the central kitchens mean buying power that allows “vertical integration,” with the end result being a higher-quality and more reasonably-priced dish than a sole restaurant can deliver.

It seems the challenge of beating chef Bobby Flay will continue on the Food Network.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is one of the big names to sign up to the service so far. “They figured out how to emulate exactly what I do,” Flay told Side Dish in a statement.

So far, people spend around $65 per order to feed four or five people, he says.

Other big-name chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson, Nancy Silverton and Jonathan Waxman, have signed on. Lore, who’s CEO of the Wonder Group and also is part owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Alex Rodriguez, wouldn’t disclose the financial terms of the deals with the chefs.

“When the Wonder chefs recreated my pizza, I said, ‘Was this really made in the mobile kitchen?’ Silverton said of her California-based Pizzeria Mozza recipe. “I couldn’t believe they could get the same flavor. It was incredible.”

Flay agreed: “They figured out how to emulate exactly what I do,” he said.

Already, 60 trucks are plying the streets of a few New Jersey neighborhoods, proving that the service can work: The service has been in “stealth mode” for three years, but Lore says he plans to expand to 1,200 trucks by next year, when parts of Westchester County, Connecticut and New York City will come online — and eventually there could be three times that amount across the country by the end of 2023, he said.

Lore, the founder of Jet.com — which sold for $3.3 billion to Walmart in 2016 — said he identified the need for a better food-delivery concept before the pandemic supercharged the “amplified and accelerated” the need for a new take on that corner of the industry.

So far, he’s raised $500 million in venture capital from partners including NEA, Accel, GV, General Catalyst and Bain Capital Ventures. 

Marc Lore
Marc Lore, part owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and founder of Jet.com, now is bringing his e-commerce knowhow to the world of food delivery with a new app that he says has attracted $500 million in investment.
Gabriella Bass for NY Post

Flay was one of the first top chefs to sign on. “He is an incredibly well-recognized and talented chef and he was one of the first to get the idea early on and jump on board,” Lore said. “Bobby’s a visionary type chef who saw the big picture very early.” 

In the suburbs, the mobile trucks will be staffed by a single person to drive, prep the meals and deliver them. 

“A single driver does the cooking. The technology is very straightforward. There is no open flame. All they have to do is press buttons for the convection ovens. The cooks are pressing buttons, not flipping burgers,” Lore explained.

In big cities, the trucks will be staffed by three people: a driver, a person to prep the meals and a runner to deliver them — and they will still be more profitable than the trucks in the ‘burbs because of the number of people squashed into each square mile of an urban area.

“I live in New York City, where food delivery is often cold, expensive and never on time,” Lore said. “I started thinking about food delivery in a different way and what 2.0 looks like.”

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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